High Blood Pressure is a common yet critical condition. More than 1 in 5 adults have higher blood pressure globally, and this is accountable for around half of all deaths due to heart disease and stroke, while the hypertension complications result in about 9.4 million deaths worldwide every year.
Blood Pressure means the pressure of blood within the blood vessels. When blood pressure is high, it means higher than normal pressure is put on the walls of the blood vessels. Continuing high blood pressure without medication may lead to several health risks, while timely treatment to control the chronic high blood pressure condition helps lower the risk of multiple health conditions like heart disease, stroke, kidney damage, visual impairment etc.
Can High Blood Pressure Kill You?
Isn’t it a common question you keep on murmuring yourself that can high blood pressure kill me?
Yes, it can.
High blood pressure is called the “silent killer,” and it is right to say. As this condition often doesn’t show any alarming sign or symptom, people are unaware of having it. That’s why regular monitoring for blood pressure is essential.
Uncontrolled Blood Pressure & Health Risks
If you are having high blood pressure for long but leave it untreated, you’re at risk of several health conditions. Once detected with higher blood pressure, you must seek medical help to control it. To know how high blood pressure affects the body, keep reading this blog. But before that follow the chart and measure your blood pressure severity.
Here are eight ways that uncontrolled high blood pressure can negatively affect your health:
1. Higher Risk of Heart Attack & Stroke
High blood pressure often damages the artery walls. It leads to plaque deposition that hardens, narrows and blocks the arteries. These plaques may also lead to blood clots which flow through the bloodstream and block blood flow to the heart or brain, resulting in heart attack or stroke.
2. Higher Risk of Experiencing Heart Failure
Once the arteries are narrowed or blocked, the heart has to work hard to maintain blood circulation all over the body. This increased pressure on heart function may lead to enlargement of the heart and failure to supply blood to organs.
3. Chances of Getting Chest Pain
Angina, commonly known as Chest Pain, occurs when the heart lacks the necessary blood supply. When people with higher blood pressure perform a hard physical activity like exercising, going upstairs, walking uphill etc., may feel pain, squeezing, fullness in the chest.
4. May Cause Kidney Damage
Kidneys are the organs that filter blood, remove toxin and wastes and help maintain complex biological functions. But high blood pressure often damages the arteries around the kidneys resulting in reduced performance of it and even kidney failure.
5. Prone to Develop Vision Problems
Do you know, there is a close connection between high blood pressure and vision disturbance?
High blood pressure makes you prone to develop vision problems as it affects the small and delicate blood vessels of the eyes. These blood vessels are easily strained or damaged due to excess pressure of blood and lead to swelling of optic nerves resulting in blurry vision. In the case of untreated high blood pressure, vision loss or impairment is also possible.
6. Possibility of Developing Sexual Dysfunction
Do you know why high blood pressure is bad even for your sexual drive? Because uncontrolled high blood pressure can result in erectile dysfunction in men while low libido in women.
7. Higher Risk of Peripheral Artery Disease
Peripheral Artery Disease, also known as Atherosclerosis, is a condition where the arteries become narrowed due to fatty deposits, calcium plaque in its walls. This lead to severe pain in legs, arms, stomach cramp, and fatigue. Peripheral Artery Disease also higher the risk of future heart diseases and stroke.
8. Higher Risk of Hypertensive Crisis
The hypertensive crisis is an emergency condition where blood pressure level rises up rapidly to 180/120, or even cross it. It may lead to multiple organ damage as well as life-threatening complexities.
Symptoms of a Hypertensive Crisis include:
- Sudden Blurry Vision
Confusion & Anxiety
Nausea & Vomiting
Shortness of Breath
Chest Pain or Discomfort
Swelling or Edema
If someone around you is having these (or any of these) symptoms or you yourself face the same, move to the nearest hospital and ask Emergency Care right away.
Protecting Your Health Against Risks
As you all know, detecting high blood pressure is simple with a regular check-up. But do not live with high blood pressure without medication. If untreated, high blood pressure may cause complex medical conditions as well as life risk.
But, the good thing is that high blood pressure is successfully treatable with medical supervision and lifestyle change.
Small changes like low sodium diet, regular exercising, healthy weight maintenance, restricted alcohol intake, quitting smoking etc. help people lower their blood pressure. If a doctor prescribes certain medication to control blood pressure level, it is required to take as directed.
You can make a big difference to your overall health by treating the high blood pressure timely, and with proper medical supervision. In case, you are suffering from long-term high blood pressure problems or think you might be at risk, book an appointment with a medical practitioner today.